John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor
Baen, Feb 2008, $25.00
Due to the heroics of the crew of the Alliance Space Ship the A.S.S. VORPAL BLADE, the humans defeated the alien Dreen (see VORPAL BLADE) who came through a portal which a University of Central Florida scientist exploded open (see INTO THE LOOKING GLASS). The cost to the victors was immense as many became combatantsa were injured. Thus the crew of the A.S.S. VORPAL BLADE is given needed R&R. However, the expendable Force Recon Marines that make up most of the squad are unhappy but understand their lot in life especially as the only starship in the fleet when their respite is cut short due to an emergency message at a Gateway. Could the vile Dreen somehow have regrouped and retaliated eradicating everyone at HD 36951?
The mission is to affirm that the Dreen is back and to defeat them or whatever enemy has massacred the gateway colonists and to rescue any survivors though the probability is that there are none. Led by Command Master Chief Robert Miller, the A.S.S Vorpal Blade flies to confront a new Dreen resurgence or an even greater MANXOME FOE.
The third quantum physics meets alien species meets military science fiction inside of a universe that Lewis Carroll would appreciate is an entertaining tale that in many ways is too similar to VORPAL BLADE. The story line is faster than the speed of light as the manure eaters are sent off to war once again to encounter a new alien ally that desperately needs their help while the brass stays behind enjoying the fruits of the crew’s previous victory. Fans will enjoy this exciting outer space soap opera, but it lacks the chaotic creativity of the two previous adventures.